Signs stating sections of Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street will be closed July 30-31 and August 6-7 from 8 am to 4 pm are incorrect; there will be no closures this weekend
(updated Thursday, July 28th)
Two signs were posted Wednesday giving notice Carlton Avenue will be closed between Pacific Street and Dean Street, and Pacific Street closed between 6th and Carlton Avenues July 30-31 and August 6-7 from 8 am to 4 pm. Both blocks are contiguous and linked to one temporary and two permanent street closures related to Atlantic Yards. For this reason, further temporary closures may be particularly inconvenient for project neighbors.
The new temporary closures were due to renovations on the Newswalk building, not Atlantic Yards. Apparently, the closures have been suspended for this upcoming weekend because the contractor failed to meet public notification requirements. When further information is available, it will be posted here.
After a month of violations the dirt mound at Dean Street and Carlton Avenue is finally "slimed" with green protective covering
Roughly a month after a mostly uncovered large mound of dirt appeared on block 1129, an incident report finally gave notice "the mound was "slimed" with green stuff." The green stuff is presumably a protective covering to inhibit dust.
Only a few days after the "sliming," the mound was gone. It did not appear again in another location, suggesting the contractor only covered the mound once its function was complete.
For a month community members (and apparently the ESDC) had attempted to get the contractor to cover the mound or move it.
The photographs submitted with the report show one portion of the mound still covered with plastic and another with a slightly unnatural green hue.
Early this month this site reported that improper custodianship of the mound appeared to violate numerous commitments in the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments. Since that time, ESDC told this writer they continued to "reprimand" the contractor to ensure the dust pile is covered or wetted frequently, and that they requested an air monitor be placed near the pile to ensure air is not compromised. An air monitor was located near the pile at times. No neighbors of the pile have reported seeing wetting used, although the dirt is brought to block 1129 to be sifted and then shipped elsewhere on the site.
Complaints about extended hours work continue, and new sources of construction noise at night and on weekends may be on their way
Complaints about late night and after hours construction work continue to reach this website. The video above, (which reached this site indirectly), was filmed at 1:30 am at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Bergen Street.
Complaints about permitted late night work on the project date back to the extended infrastructure work that took place on Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue in 2008 and caused substantial discomfort to many living in the vicinity. The earliest illegal after hours work inside the footprint dates to the spring of 2007, only a short time after work on the project began.
The sources of the complaints relate to an expanding list of types of work scheduled at night and on weekends. The affected residential areas are dispersed throughout the perimeter of the 22 acre project site.
Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet focuses on rats; FCRC commits to providing vouchers to residents for garbage cans
The Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet Thursday, July 14th was largely dedicated to the rodent problem in the vicinity of the project. At the meeting Forest City Ratner committed to providing community residents a voucher to get a free garbage can.
More details of the program, including the type of can and the specific area the program will be available, will be made public in a week or so.
In addition, at the instigation of Council Member Letitia James, the NYC Department of Health, the NYC Department of Sanitation and ESDC Project Director Arana Hankin are working together to identify a strategy to address the full range of problems in and around the project site.
Atlantic Yards lawsuit: local groups victorious as judge slams Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) for breaking the law by approving Atlantic Yards’ 2009 Modified Plan
The BrooklynSpeaks coalition includes the sponsors of Atlantic Yards Watch. The following is the response to the press from BrooklynSpeaks about Judge Friedman's ruling today that the ESDC's adoption of the 2009 MGPP without an SEIS was illegal:
Today, New York State Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman ruled that the New York State Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) acted illegally in 2009 when it approved changes to the Atlantic Yards project that increased from ten years to twenty-five years the amount of time allowed to developer Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) to complete the project without first studying the impacts of prolonged construction to the surrounding communities.
In her decision, the Judge lambasted ESDC for its “continuing use of the 10 year build date (that) was not merely inaccurate; it lacked a rational basis given the major change in deadlines reflected in the MTA and Development Agreements.”
After concluding that the 10 year build date lacked a rational basis, the Judge went on to address ESDC’s poor attempt to fill the void with a quickly put together “Technical Analysis: “Notably, the Technical Analysis is silent as to the impacts on neighborhood character and socioeconomic conditions of vacant lots, above ground arena parking and construction staging, which may persist not merely for a decade, but, as petitioners aptly put it, for a generation.”
The judge has ordered the ESDC to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) hold a public hearing on the SEIS and and reconsider the 2009 MGPP in light of the new SEIS.
Video and photographs showing dump trucks lining Pacific Street between 6th and Carlton Avenues were attached to incident reports submitted to this website this morning.
The two videos, titled "5:45 am Atlantic Yards/FCR no flaggers + illegal idling," and the photographs show a line of trucks waiting underneath the 170 unit Newswalk building to enter one of the Barclays Center truck entrances at Pacific Street and 6th Avenue.
The trucks are lining up on the wrong block of Pacific Street. The video and photography illustrates an ongoing problem long brought to the attention of ESDC and FCRC. If the protocols outlined in the Barclays Center Delivery Truck Rules and Requirements for the use of a flagger at Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street are not kept, the public Pacific Street between Carlton and 6th Avenues quickly becomes an extension of the construction site. The goal of the use of a flagger in this location is to avoid trucks lining up on this block.
Yet two more documented incidents this morning serve as a reminder proper construction practices have to be implemented at all times.
The photograph may look like the one we ran yesterday, but it is from 7:30 this morning. At the time it was taken there is no misting of the loading of the trucks, and the surface of the yard is clearly dry enough to produce dust. Later this morning some degree of watering did begin to take place.
An uncovered dump truck apparently transferring sifted dirt from block 1129 travelled down Pacific Street this morning. Dump trucks are supposed to be inspected to ensure they are covered before they leave the work site.
Dust from excavation and trucks in the railyard is visible in this photo submitted with an incident report today. Dust suppression measures are supposed to be put in place in order to protect air quality for workers on the project and the community nearby. The Amended Environmental Commitments Memo states:
FCRC shall require its contractors to implement dust suppression measures including the following:
iii. Watering unpaved surfaces, including haul roads and excavation faces. All unpaved haul roads and excavation surfaces shall be continuously watered by watering trucks or constant misting, so that surfaces remain damp at all times when in use during construction. Gravel cover shall be applied to unpaved surfaces which are regularly traveled."
On Thursday signs identifying the location of FCRC's Community Liaison Office were posted along the perimeter of the project site. The signs do not include the hours the office will be open.
This follows a statement by Rachel Shatz of the ESDC that FCRC is in violation of the Amended Environmental Commitments Memo at a joint meeting of the Carlton Avenue Association and Dean Street Block Association on June 28th. At the meeting Brigitte LaBonte, FCRC's Community Liaison, stated that she is on site one or two days a week.
The commitments in the memo state, "FCRC shall maintain an on-site construction coordinator to function as a liaison between FCRC and the community with respect to construction-related issues. The coordinator shall be available to consider specific concerns raised by the community with respect to the construction issues and seek to resolve such concerns."
Amy Sara Clark of Prospect Heights Patch and Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report both highlighted Shatz's statement in their coverage of the meeting. In Clark's coverage FCRC promised change and said that the developer would have at least one person on site during working hours.
At points in the project, FCRC has described the Community Liaison as a "capacity" the company has rather than a person.
The press continued coverage of local concerns about construction workers who violate parking regulations in the vicinity of Atlantic Yards following Erin Durkin's story in the Daily News Thursday. Numerous complaints about illegal parking have been filed at this website by members of the community.
The illegal parking is apparently enabled by selective enforcement of parking regulation law in the area by NYPD. The illegal parking occurs in violation of posted parking regulations, in bus stops, no standing zones and on sidewalks. For the community near the project the issue is important because the sidewalks in the area are less walkable and streets often cannot be cleaned.
Plus, there is a perceived double standard. While construction workers and city employees who live elsewhere openly park illegally, those who live in the community are given tickets for far less bold transgressions of parking regulation law.
Here are links to news coverage of the story:
Liz Wagner's report on News 12 Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Neighbors Fuming Over Illegal Parking includes a reference to this website.
Monica Morales' report on WPIX11 Atlantic Yards Double Parking Double Standard identifies the car with both an iron worker local sticker and a funeral director placard.
Ti-Hua Chang's report on MYFOXNY Parking Violations Around Atlantic Yards Site includes an interview with Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives and with a construction worker who says he's glad parking regulations aren't enforced.
Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report has reported on the story twice: